You all know how thrilled I was to win the RomCon Readers' Crown contest for Ivy League Cowboy. The contest is judged solely by readers and the standards are tough to final. Only three short contemporaries made the cut, and I'm pleased to say A Cowboy and a Gentleman was also among them. The other was a Harlequin release, which had me feeling a bit intimidated.
You see, Harlequin rejected Ivy League Cowboy three years ago. I had written the book with Harlequin in mind. It was my 2007 NaNoWriMo project and it spawned two sequels. I kept the word count to around 50K to work within the Harlequin lines I was considering.
These books about the sexy McCray brothers were special to me, and after the rejection from Harlequin, I held onto them. I couldn't let them go just anywhere. Meanwhile, I made a name for myself as an erotic romance author.
Fast forward to autumn 2011 -- My editor from another publisher (who shall not be named), Celina Summers (one of the best editors I've ever worked with), along with three other women, announced the opening of Musa Publishing. Finally, I thought, here is a publisher I trust with my cowboys. I queried Celina and offered her the books. She contracted them sight unseen. I've never had someone have such complete faith in my work, and I'll be forever grateful.
The rest is history. Ivy League Cowboy, A Cowboy and a Gentleman, and Rodeo Queen released in November 2011, December 2011, and January 2012, respectively, to excellent reviews and respectable sales.
As for Harlequin's rejection of Ivy League Cowboy? Well, the readers have spoken. And to those of you who love the characters of Bakersville, Colorado, three new books are coming beginning in November!
To learn more about Musa and how they differ from other publishers, click here.
To purchase the McCray Brothers books, click here.